Do we really need another blog post about photography equipment? There are a plethora of articles that talk about cameras and camera accessories. Thousands upon thousands of words have been written about what camera you should use for street photography. Be it a Leica, Fuji, Ricoh, Canon, Nikon, or iPhone, there are pros and cons to each and every one of them.
Whatever your choice of camera, the most important thing is to know how to use it so that when the opportunity comes along you are primed and ready to make the most of it. The best camera is not just the one you have with you, but the one you feel most comfortable and skilled at using, allowing you to achieve the results you want.
Ultimately just getting out there and experiencing the streets of your town, city or village with a camera in hand is all you really need. However, here are a few things that I have found useful when I spend the day exploring the city….
When the cold months hit, it can be hard to stay warm when walking around the city. I spent years trying to find the ultimate pair of gloves that would give me the flexibility to control the camera while also providing enough insulation to prevent my fingers turning blue.
Fingerless gloves proved to provide the most flexibility, but really I only needed my thumb and index finger to be fingerless. Nick Turpin suggested I buy a pair of thinsulate gloves, cut off the glove fingers I don’t need, and seal the cut with a lighter (or in my case a blowtorch). Believe it or not but this actually worked very well.
When it gets really cold then a pack of hand warmers can really help. You can buy reusable ones, but they tend not to last very long. The disposable (but not exactly environmentally friendly) ones last much longer and are quite convenient to slip into a camera bag.
This is another Nick Turpin tip… if you like to photograph in the rain (or drizzle) then keeping a chamois leather handy will make it easy to wipe the water off your camera. I wouldn’t go using on the lens glass, but for everything else it should really help. Note that a natural chamois might make your bag smell like a branch of Halfords.
Snack bar & water bottle
If you walk around for as long as I do then you’ll soon start to feel hungry and thirsty. A breakfast bar can keep you on your toes and can easily fit into a camera bag. They are a cheep way to get some much needed sustenance when you may not know where to find the nearest cafe or supermarket.
Equally important is to stay hydrated while walking, especially in summer. All too often I will find myself flagging and realise that I haven’t had anything to drink all day. You don’t need a hulking great big flask… a small bottle should be fine. More and more cities have water fill-up points and most cafes can also give you a top-up.
I spend a lot of time in places that are definitely not hygienic. Public transport, handrails, escalators and door handles are all wonderful breeding grounds for germs. Call me a germaphobe but if it can help stave off a cold or upset stomach when travelling then I will use hand sanitiser like it’s going out of fashion. It’s also great if you get something sticky on your hands.
Stepped in something? Bird took a liking to your head? Touched something sticky? Tissues serve a multitude of uses and I always keep a handy pack with me.
Zip seal food bags
I love food and I often find myself buying it when I stumble across a market or interesting independent shop. Zip seal bags are essential if you want to carry food in your camera bag. I have ruined one bag thanks to a very adventurous cheese, and a second bag with garlic powder. Had I been using a zip seal bag at the time, I could have avoided camera bag heartache.
I am not being paid either directly or benefiting in kind from mentioning products or brands.